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Posted by Mark Hine at 9:59AM   |  Add a comment

I had the distinct pleasure of viewing James Cameron's Avatar over the Christmas holiday. Though skeptical at first I was impressed by the improvement in quality of 3D technology - a mix of live action and animated characters. The glasses were even comfortable to wear. It therefore was less than surprising to read a bevy of articles streaming from this years Consumer Electronics Show (CES) that a wave of consumer 3D TV is on the mount. The talk, of course, is emanating from the product manufacturers interested in regaining lost market share from an under producing year. But are they on to something? 

Once again, we will suffer through the price pyramid of recouping R and D costs to get a new product down to something manageable for the middle class. When it arrives, what will we see? Will we need to wear glasses over our glasses to watch the news? Will there be a standards war? Will the industry finally realize that our patience for the Beta vs VHS shtick has waned ? Here's hoping.

What we can expect is more 3D movies emanating from Hollywood to entice us to line up at the electronics retailer to experience the '3D effect' for ourselves. First, think sports. I predict this venue to be a selling point for consumers and broadcasters alike. Football, basketball and other close action team sports will come alive in 3D. How this will impact stadium and arena attendance is another question. Imagine the immersive experience coupled with surround sound in a slightly darkened room. It all comes down to entertainment value. I would have expected that interactive television would have been the next step on the ladder but perhaps we will witness a coupling of the two. An intermediary is gaming. Gaming will take on new perspective, literally. Games with a 3D flair will reach there full potential and may be reason enough for some to make the foray.

Whatever the reason, whatever the motivation 3DTV is poised to make serious market entry in 2010. Major manufacturers include Samsung, Mitsubishi and IBM as technology partners. Check out this YouTube video featuring an elaborate system of producing 3D TV without the spectacles. 



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